XL Africa Business Acceleration Program for Digital Startups in Africa 2017

We are looking for 20 high-growth digital startups seeking to raise between $250K and $1.5M in funding. We can help with access to funding, networks, mentoring and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs.

Application Deadline: 12th June 2017

Eligible Countries: Africa countries

To be taken at (country): South Africa

About the Award: If you are accepted into the program, you will be asked to:

  • Engage regularly with mentors (4-6 hours a month) over five months. Remember it’s a two-way street – both mentors and mentees learn and commit to this relationship. In many cases, we expect these relationships to last long after the program has ended.
  • Over 5 months, participate in four virtual webinar sessions run by global experts with inputs from leading African and US investors and successful entrepreneurs.
  • Participate in the residential program in South Africa for two weeks in November 2017.
  • Engage with 19 other African enterprises, along with mentors, investors and strategic partners.
  • Come with an open mind and be willing to learn and collaborate.

Type: Entrepreneurship

Eligibility: 

  • Your startup is for profit and registered, with a team of at least three people
  • Your team is based in one of the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa
  • You have a very strong management team
  • You have a digital product or service available on the market right now, with demonstrated tangible traction and evidence of revenue
  • You have potential to achieve scale
  • You are seeking investment capital in the range of $250K – $1.5m
  • While there will be exceptions, mostly likely your startup has already received investment capital, structured as either debt or equity, or received grants from donor organizations.

Selection Criteria: To select the top 20 start-ups, we will consider:

  • Commercial Value of your Product/Service (25%): Your company addresses a real problem in the market. The digital solution is different to others in the industry. Your product or service is catalyzing social change.
  • Strategy for Growth (25%): There is potential to expand into new markets or expand at home. We can see demonstrable progress, and your startup is scalable.
  • Management (25%): The team have the qualifications needed to make the business successful.
  • Market Traction & Financials (25%): We will evaluate your market traction and look at the potential market size. We’ll also look at your business model, revenue streams and unit economics, and if any outside funding has been raised before.

Number of Awards: 20

Value of Program: We will help your company access capital, expand market share, and refine its business model through tailored mentorship, coaching, and networking opportunities. Here’s what we offer:

  • Structured access to investors throughout the program and at a Venture Showcase Day in South Africa.
  • Mentoring from at least two successful entrepreneurs or investors (global and local) to develop accurate company valuations, financial forecasts, risk management and customer acquisition strategies. Access to other expertise is provided based on your specific needs.
  • The opportunity to meet with investors, potential customers and partners as well as peers at an all-expenses paid residency in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Support in developing investment packages so you’re ready for investment following the program.
  • Knowledge through curated content designed to teach you everything you need to know about marketing, financing and market expansion.

Duration of Program: August 1 – December 31, 2017

How to Apply: APPLY NOW

Visit Program Webpage for details

Award Provider: XL Africa

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